Unmasked – the Asda ‘pranksters’ in court for assault: Fancy dress superheroes say they were only having innocent fun by filming ‘comedy’ antics in supermarket
When a shocking video emerged of a so-called prankster dressed as Spider-Man kicking a female supermarket worker out cold, the footage went around the world.
Now a group of fancy-dress superheroes have appeared in court over the incident. The Spider-Man – Josh McDonald, 31 – was not at the hearing as he was suffering from Covid.
But his six co-accused, including an Ali-G, a Little Red Riding Hood, and a Goldilocks, all attended Kingston upon Thames Crown Court in south London.
Those in the dock over the incident, in which staff were allegedly beaten and left bloodied, are self-professed pranksters who video antics in supermarkets, watched by tens of thousands of online fans.
When a shocking video emerged of a so-called prankster dressed as Spider-Man kicking a female supermarket worker out cold, the footage went around the world
Sophie Roberts, 18, (pictured) also from Northampton was charged with violent disorder, assault causing actual bodily harm and causing grievous bodily harm by punching a female worker in the face
Led by George O’Boyle, 29 – dressed as comedy character Ali G during the stunt at an Asda in July – the group say they were simply having innocent fun by recording ‘comedic’ antics in the aisles.
The pranksters dressed as superheroes and other characters, including a nun, Batman, and a human fly, raided the Asda in Clapham Junction, south London.
Several of those in costume were making video selfies of themselves as they went through the store despite protests from security.
Footage which spread widely online, some of it ‘live-streamed’ to the internet as it happened, showed the mounting chaos.
The group ended up in a storage area, in which staff complained of being beaten with metal bars in a bloody fight, before tussles spread back on to the shop floor.
Pictured: George O’Boyle (left) and Josh McDonald. ‘Influencer’ O’Boyle (Ali G), who describes himself as ‘an outgoing young salesman’, pleaded guilty on Friday to both assaulting a male Asda worker and violent disorder
Little Red Riding Hood slapped a female Asda worker in the face, then Spider-Man, said to be McDonald, was shown to have kicked and punched the worker until she fell unconscious.
McDonald, who is unemployed, describes himself as a ‘sportsperson/entertainer’ and lives in Northampton. He has been charged with violent disorder and two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm. He has not entered a plea.
Sophie Roberts, 18, also from Northampton and said to have been dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, was charged with violent disorder, assault causing actual bodily harm and causing grievous bodily harm by punching a female worker in the face. She is yet to submit pleas.
Sophie Roberts, 18, (pictured) was said to have been dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. She is yet to submit pleas
‘Influencer’ O’Boyle (Ali G), who describes himself as ‘an outgoing young salesman’, pleaded guilty on Friday to both assaulting a male Asda worker and violent disorder.
Online, where he says: ‘Supermarkets are my playground’, he calls himself ‘Gee Money’. He has 50,000 Instagram followers and more on TikTok and YouTube.
In one stunt he set up a camping stove and cooked breakfast in a supermarket aisle. He also staged a pretend mugging at a cashpoint and filmed passers-by reacting. He has already been fined for criminal damage in earlier stunts.
The Spiderman-dressed attacker of female supermarket assistant revealed as kick boxer Josh McDonald. His accomplice was identified as George O’Boyle, 29, seen dressed as Ali G in a yellow outfit and hat
O’Boyle, from Surbiton, south London, has even boasted of plans to sell merchandise to fans, and offers to sell advertisements with his stunts. The other four defendants have pleaded not guilty.
They include O’Boyle’s ‘missus’ Katie Pickard, 30, a mother-of-two, who is accused of violent disorder. She is believed to have been dressed as a nun in the incident.
Rikki McKenzie, 35, from Northampton, who was wearing a Goldilocks wig in his wheelchair, is charged with assault and violent disorder.
Also accused of violent disorder are Charlie Jay Sharp, 18, from Northampton, and Mark Pettigrew, 37, from west London. A trial will take place later this year.